Friday, September 2, 2011

India - Bangladesh Convergence

Neelam Mathesw
Sept 2, 2011

On the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka, a report  titled "India and Bangladesh: Moving Towards Convergence" written by Director General of IDSA, N. S. Sisodia, has been released by the Institute of Studies and Analyses (IDSA).
The report recommends the two countries should explore new areas of cooperation on climate change, science and technology, IT and communication, space, remote sensing, medicine and health, disaster management, food and energy security, renewable energy etc.

The report cautions against complacency. The positive momentum in bilateral relations generated during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit must be continued, while emphasizing legacy issues— border demarcation, enclaves, river water sharing - which have bedeviled India-Bangladesh relations should be settled at the earliest possible.

Key recommendations:

Legacy issues-demarcation of the land border, exchange of enclaves and adverse possessions, Teen Bigha corridor flyover -  should be settled as a package.

Resolution of the maritime dispute is desirable.
Security cooperation with Bangladesh needs to be. Information sharing, joint patrolling should be given top priority. The US-Mexico model on the joint management of border can be considered.

The Sheikh Hasina government has proposed a South Asia Task Force on terrorism. A counter-terrorism centre based in Dhaka can be set up to help the task force,. India could offer to fund the centre.

Connectivity should be a top priority to be supplemented by a liberal visa regime
India should persuade Bangladesh to acknowledge the problem of illegal migration.

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